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Blog: Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Student Voice: Self-Care Mondays at WJ Mouat

In May this year, six Grade 11 WJ Mouat students participated in a Mental Health Forum hosted by the Abbotsford School District. They were tasked with reviewing the YDI (Youth Development Index) survey results for WJ Mouat and to come up with an actionable plan to help improve student well-being and mental health at their school.

From this forum, Self-care Mondays are now embedded in the WJ Mouat school calendar. Every month showcases a specific theme around wellness (September is Hydrate for Good health, October is Vitamins for Vitality, etc.). Specifically, every Monday, staff and students are provided with an activity or a focus for the week that promotes positive mental health and wellness. This activity is shared via email to staff, in daily announcements and is also included in the weekly “News from the Nest” bulletin for staff, students and parents.

The students who participated in this Mental Health Forum felt it was important that the school and staff offer self-care moments in the classroom that are flexible and supportive of different learners. For example, if a Self-Care Monday focused on nature, some students may be permitted to go for a short walk during class time or to sit outside for a few minutes to breathe in fresh air. This activity or focus would be showcased all week, providing students with opportunities to refresh their minds so that they may return to class more prepared to take on new learning. Forum students also felt it was imperative that staff model these self-care moments and that, as a school, the value of self-care and wellness for all become pivotal.

To further support this plan of action, Team Leaders at WJ Mouat have also been tasked, as part of the school plan, to show how they will address, with more intentionality, Social Emotional Learning in their classrooms. How can we foster our students' and staff's mental, emotional, social and physical well-being? Self-Care Mondays may be the start.

SORAYA RAJABALLY, VICE PRINCIPAL
WJ Mouat Secondary